Debates meant to delay RH Bill's passage: bishop


Posted at Apr 27 2011 11:22 AM | Updated as of Apr 27 2011 07:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is willing to mediate between Catholic Church officials who oppose the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill and other religious and civic groups who are for passage of the bill.

But Bishop Rodrigo Tano believes debates on the RH bill have become divisive and are being used to delay the passage of the bill in Congress.

"I think there is too much bad faith, too much condemnation. Hasty generalization. We are tired of that. We are tired dilatory tactics in Congress," he told ANC's "Headstart."
Tano is the chairman of the Interfaith Partnershio for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood, a coalition of 12 religious groups including the Iglesia ni Cristo.

He said the group supports the Responsible Parenthood Bill because it can help government address the country's growing population.

"We believe, on the whole, it promotes the common good. If you think an average of 11 mothers die due to complications in pregnancy, if you think 62 infants out of 100,000 die out of live births and the poor have more kids, if you realize there is relationship between population size and poverty, although that's contested but its more difficult for a family to have savings, and support their needs," he said.

"To me these are facts. These should not be a matter of ecclesiastical declarations but a matter of research and science," he said.

He said that as far as some churches are concerned, marriage is for procreation. "But if you read the literature in Catholic Church, some would rather rank the two -- children and pleasure --  on equal footing. If you say procreation is main, every sex act should allow for the pregnancy," he said.

Tano said he does not think condoms are sinful. "What is sinful is promiscuity, and immoral behavior and making use of condom as an excuse of promiscuity. The sin is promiscuity not the condom," he said.

The bishop said he is against any contraceptive method that is abortifacient.

He also disagrees that sex education should only come from the child's parents, saying that various institutions should be interdependent in the development of the child including the school, state, family and civil society.